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Online ISSN 1827-1766
Cavezzi A. 1, Labropoulos N. 2, Partsch H. 3, Ricci S. 4, Caggiati A. 5, Myers K. 6, Nicolaides A. 7, Coleridge Smith P. 8
1 S.Benedetto del Tronto, Italy
2 Chicago, Illinois, USA
3 Vienna, Austria
4 Rome, Italy
5 Rome, Italy
6 Melbourne, Australia
7 Nicosia, Cyprus
8 University College London Medical School, London, UK
Aim. Duplex ultrasound investigation has become the reference standard in assessing the morphology and haemodynamics of the lower limb veins. The project described in this paper was an initiative of the Union Internationale de Phlébologie (UIP), The aim was to obtain a consensus of international experts on the methodology to be used for assessment of anatomy of superficial and perforating veins in the lower limb by ultrasound imaging.
Design. Consensus conference leading to a consensus document.
Methods. The authors performed a systematic review of the published literature on duplex anatomy of the superficial and perforating veins of the lower limbs; afterwards they invited a group of experts from a wide range of countries to participate in this project. Electronic submissions from the authors and the experts (text and images) were made available to all participants via the UIP website. The authors prepared a draft document for discussion at the UIP Chapter meeting held in an Diego, USA in August 2003. Following this meeting a revised manuscript was circulated to all participants and further comments were received by the authors and included in subsequent versions of the manuscript. Eventually, all participants agreed the final version of the paper.
Results. The experts have made detailed recommendations concerning the methods to be used for duplex ultrasound examination as well as the interpretation of images and measurements obtained. This document provides a detailed methodology for complete ultrasound assessment of the anatomy of the superficial and perforating veins in the lower limbs.
Conclusion. The authors and a large group of experts have agreed a methodology for the investigation of the lower limbs venous system by duplex ultrasonography, with specific reference to the anatomy of the main superficial veins and perforators of the lower limbs in healthy and varicose subjects.